Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Electronics and stuff

Currently I am working on a few projects simultaneously.
Electronics for Jelly Fish
Colonoscopy in Science fiction
Poetry in stitch
Painterly Art Exercises

I can't post about 3 of those items for secrecy reasons... so here is this painterly work instead.

Oh and below is a contemplative image taken this weekend in Columbus Texas, close to the second oldest tree in Texas.
I am just learning about my new camera and the software support it gets from Olympus... another uphill climb.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Work it out - Where is your passion? Your answer provides the only true solution.

This blog entry was going to be about some motivational course that is on offer in the textile forum this month.  And how I am not taking it, why not... and what I do instead.
However, in putting today's blog entry together I eventually found myself watching this:-
and felt that all my blog entry need be is that link.  I hope you enjoy it if you haven't seen it already.

Should you be intrigued as to what took me there, here is the former blog entry for today.
There is a move in the textile world to do a 10 week online course on overcoming boundaries and improving motivation.... "Do I need this now?"  Is the main question one should ask before signing up.  I have many items on my desk and I am working on them.  Video, film, stitch, and daily 'drawing' and writing.  And I am getting through the work.... I have strategies, hard earned and seemingly successful.  We can all continue to improve though.

This holiday I joined Ali in making my own gelli plate. My friend Nikki made hers years ago and they last.  Gelli plates are a good, cheap tool that encourages 'play'.  Play is what we do when we get our minds out of that controlled state and into free creativity.

Here is my drawing 'workout" for today.  It might not be finished, who cares.  Changing the orientation of the image can lead me to different meanings in different orientations.
I do wonder what I would have ended up with in a parallel universe where I concentrated on lines instead of circles on the ground... but hey, that is going all analytical  - which I agreed to leave at the door.
And stream of consciousness writing can prove useful based on such daily created images.
As a daily activity this can develop ones free creativity, and break barriers. These ideas are not new. See the work of Ken Robinson for his theories.  He is one hell of an inspiring guy!
I want more Ken Robinson - - Local Library here I come.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Contemplative Photography is for me. A whole blog post about one photograph

My Nikon P6000 has been a trusty friend.  It is a digital compact camera with a mechanical viewfinder.
Unfortunately the viewfinder is no longer working - and I am forced to shoot blind most of the time because the back screen is awful to use... and I really do wish the camera makers would bite the bullet and provide us with digital compact cameras with proper viewfinders (of course at reasonable prices).

In a photo magazine that John bought us for Xmas, is an article about improving composition in ones photos.

Although many of the photographers documented how they had composed the shots illustrated in the article, .. use of “leading lines,” ignoring rule of 2/3, soft focus in some areas, mimicry of line etc etc….Some of them emphasized that the composition can just come naturally.
The ideas expressed in the style of photography called “Contemplative Photography “ works on exactly that principle. Simply do not compose your shots… just let them happen after enjoying what you have really seen.
I was so pleased with the shot below taken on Reginald Hill, Saltspring Island.
As an artist one is always so self-critical ( I suffer from low self esteem) and one shouldn’t be so, I am told.
So, in this case  at least, I am going to bang on about why I am happy with this photo!!!
This is a 21mb file, but is shown here as a tiny jpg... if you want to see it in its full glory you must email me.  Will anyone?

Karin Millson: Behind the Scenery
Nikon Coolpix P6000 f/2.6, 0.0254s, ISO 400, focal length (36mm) 28mm.

Now the interesting thing is that this photo has elements that are text book... and yet I didn't think about any of them, I just thought about what I liked when I really saw it. Turns out it works ('it' being the 'Contemplative Photography' theory.) Leading line is the log, taking your eye to the mid-ground trees.  These Arbutus tree stems are irregular providing a strong contrast to other  'lines' in the image.  And what about that diagonal of the grassy bank.... where did that come from.... magic elves of the wood I think... It divides the shot nicely in two.
The foreground is in sharp contrast which is fed well by the sprinkling of leaves there.  And depth of field has allowed the beauty of the Arbutus bark to give strong colour harmony to the photo.  
The background is misty, with a soft focus but still the vertical lines of the pines provide interest and one can't help but think about the mood in there in the dusky woods, as the sun disappeared. 
Yep, I am proud of this one.
I am not making any new year resolutions, just an acknowledgement that photography IS important to me. 

Next question... what camera did Nikon replace the P6000 with and is it worth its salt?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


There is a lot one cannot talk about....
However I am enjoying a break here in Vancouver.
First a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery on my way to Saltspring Island
Heard some gospel music by Marcus Mosely Chorale, in a “Gospel Christmas” 

Saw Between Object and Action
Not sure if I am allowed to post these images... I am sure someone will let me know if not (though photography is allowed ( I asked).
These by Evelyn Roth... very powerful

Of course when outdoors I had eyes everywhere to practise my photography... now with my aged baby Nikon Coolpix P6000 set to record raw = huge files (here they have been sucked down to a more manageable blog file size....
This for a quilt I will never make:-
Doodles in the sky:-
Onwards to SSI thence back to Van a few days later....
Lovely friends at SDA Vancouver welcomed me in last night and today I went 'a gallery hoppin' with Jennifer and Michelle and a good time was had by all....
Seems like paper cutting is quite the thing these days.... (see Rogan Brown)
Chiu Yu Wen with Water Fairies Reproduction Project
What caught my eye with Li Jiun-Yang's work were the shadows cast incorporating the red lines of the suspended threads.
The actual work was Miao
I was intrigued by these heads...
We decided that this work is Saori Weaving, with metal warp and partly metal weft.  It had been displayed previously outdoors in a wood.  Here it was juxtaposed against the rectilinear ceiling construction, which I rather liked.
But I am so pleased to see that my camera did cope ever so well with the rather dark area... used for this piece... as I think they were aiming at the piece casting shadows ... but that hadn't really worked.
What I loved was the transparency of areas where there was no cotton, silk and ramie, just the wire...
This one is for you Terri.  Do you know this artist?
Yuma Taru  - Convolution of Life
Next was The Things in My Head - works by Gathie Falk, showing 50 years of her art-making at Equinox Gallery.
Some of the pieces were quite challenging to understand, and I think we were all conscious of the time ticking away, so a second visit might be required.  This piece, a canoe overflowing with ribbons (I didn't record the name, sadly), cast a lovely shadow in this beautifully lit gallery.  And you know I am all about shadows these days:-

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Word - The Book

I love the way Drs/Dentists and Opticians like to present an art installation for our contemplation in their waiting rooms... sorry if this isn't focussed but you get the idea.

I learnt how to use my sewing machine as a cutting tool when at college.

Now I have adapted the method to cut out repeat shapes... here a simple hexagon allows me to make the pages for a book with ratty edged leafs  (and before you lambast me for the spelling, I mean as in Toronto Maple Leafs - both leafs or leaves are acceptable spellings, take your pick of the vegetation.)

I used some lightweight draftsman's paper, use a strong needle if you are going to do this and remove as much of the mechanism as you can (and don't hold me responsible if your machine clogs up - mine's a Bernina and they are work horses! that can be cleaned out thoroughly by even the less mechanical of us).
Your machine might not be so accommodating, especially if it has a horizontal bobbin case and race.  Yikes aren't we getting technical now.

I think I am going to stain the pages with coffee it has to look aged and distressed.  But that I will show you after Thanksgiving.  But now is a good a time as any to show you the inspiration for The Book
This is a miniature Koran, Thanks to for the image.
Such miniature Korans were often made to be attached to the tip of Ottoman battle standards, and held high when charging into battle.

Turkey. 1500-1550 A.D. 6.3 cm across. Ghubari script. Courtesy of the Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art.

Isn't it respect-demanding and gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Did I upload this already? I can't remember

This is where I was last week... this week these things have been flying', but I can't show you that yet.
For privacy reasons.
Species 399 Semi-Free from karin millson on Vimeo.

Progress on Species 399

I have been working on these guys and putting them through their paces... seeing how they perform... auditions you might say.
These are my favourites
Next up - book-making.
And thinking about a jellyfish.